The Urine Dip Stick Test
Many diseases cause changes in the urine. These changes can be detected by a specially developed test called a urine dip stick test. This is an inexpensive test that can be done by a doctor or nurse. The patient will be asked to urinate into a special container or sample bottle. A urine dipstick is inserted into the urine. The test strip will change colour and the colour changes will be compared to a control strip. If any problems are detected the doctor or nurse may do further tests.
Some of the diseases that can be detected are listed below:
Diseases of the kidneys and urinary tract
Many of the diseases affecting the kidney and urinary tract do not cause pain and people will therefore be unaware that they may have a problem. The urine dipstick test can pick up these diseases in the early stages and is therefore recommended for people who are at risk for kidney and urinary tract diseases. These include people with diabetes, hypertension and those with a family history of kidney and urinary tract disease.
The dipstick test can detect the presence of glucose and ketones which are a sign of diabetes. The early detection of diabetes is essential to prevent kidney disease.
Liver diseases and haemolytic (blood cell) disorders
In many liver diseases there are no symptoms until the late stages of the disease. The urine dipstick test can identify specific liver diseases and haemolytic disorders including jaundice, cirrhosis, urobilinogenuria and bilirubinuria.
Urinary Tract Infections
The urine dipstick test can detect the presence of bacteria that cause infections. These need to be treated to avoid complications.